October 7, 2019

“It is ‘illegal’ to share seeds.”

Juana Estrada Hernandez
Anton Chico, New Mexico

Gathering together once again for our second trip, we had the opportunity to learn about Food and Seed sovereignty in a farm in Anton Chico. This farm is home to a small family, goats, horses, cats, dogs, chickens, ducks, insects, plants and seeds. I grew up as a “city kid” in Denver, Colorado and have never had the opportunity to spend time in a place that produces so much. The dedication, passion, and love that it takes to make a farm thrive is immense. The rewards of such labors can be seen in the food that is freshly available and the seeds that will continue the next harvest in seasons to come. For the Land Arts kin, we were able to enjoy a freshly squeezed cup of apple cider, amaranth popcorn, blue cornmeal and overall the learning experience.
I learned that “it is “illegal” to share seeds. This statement was so puzzling, and I had so many questions. Questions of its origin, it’s reasoning, its logistical application, etc. As of right now I have two: 1) How can we make laws that prevent the passage of potential harvest to come? 2) How can it be illegal to have moments of physical cultural exchanges between people? The seed exchange in the Albuquerque Museum, “Encuentro de Semillas” (Gathering of Seeds), was an enlightening experience. It allowed us to engage with the public in a way that was educational, art engaged, and allowed us to emphasize the importance of seeds. Afterall, to imagine a future without seeds, is no future at all.

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